I’ll cut straight to it: Trans Mountain must secure insurance coverage by the end of August, or the project can’t go ahead. That means these next few months are critical for pressuring its remaining insurers to publicly drop the pipeline and refuse to renew their contracts.
We know our pressure so far has been working. It was just a couple months ago that two more insurers cut ties with Trans Mountain in quick succession, making a total of eighteen insurers who have now refused coverage for the struggling tar sands pipeline.
But our job isn’t done until Trans Mountain can’t find insurance anywhere, and right now there are still some major companies willing to back the project. We need all hands on deck to turn up the heat, so we’ve co-organized a webinar where you can learn how you can help increase the pressure on the insurers and banks still backing this dirty pipeline.
This pipeline is being built to transport hundreds of thousands of barrels of tar sands oil per day – some of the world’s dirtiest oil – from Alberta to British Columbia, Canada. The oil would eventually be shipped on oil tankers through the Salish Sea, along the coastlines of B.C. and Washington. Trans Mountain doesn’t have consent from numerous Indigenous Nations living on the pipeline route, would devastate the climate, and makes no sense economically.
It’s absolutely critical that construction is stopped in its tracks, and going after the insurance companies and banks enabling the project is a key strategy to do just that.
Why tie insurance and banks together? Pipelines like Trans Mountain need two things to go ahead: insurance, and financing. And though the companies we’re targeting are different – the tactics we use to pressure banks and insurers are often the same. Both are institutions who make similar decisions about risk, their investments, and their bottom line. Both are vulnerable to threats to their brand, reputation, and shareholders. And right now we’re hoping to build on the exciting momentum we’ve generated on the insurance campaign and direct that pressure to the banks too.
But as construction plows forward, we’re running out of time to stop the project. So while insurance companies and banks are in the midst of deciding whether or not to renew their contracts with Trans Mountain, it’s an urgent time to show up in mass numbers.
Going up against powerful institutions and some of the world’s worst fossil fuel financiers isn’t going to be easy – but I’m not intimidated.Since we launched this campaign, our movement has collectively pushed eighteen insurers to publicly cut ties with Trans Mountain. People power works, and our growing victories on the insurance and broader divestment campaigns are a clear testament to that.
So thank you, Jeanne, for being an important member of the mighty Stand.earth community.
I look forward to seeing you on the webinar next week,
Canadian Oil and Gas Programs Director
Stand.earth challenges corporations, industries, and governments to prioritize the well-being of people, our environment, and our climate by creating long-term, effective solutions. None of this work is possible without your support.